petej + computers   188

Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer | Aeon Essays
"We are organisms, not computers. Get over it. Let’s get on with the business of trying to understand ourselves, but without being encumbered by unnecessary intellectual baggage. The IP metaphor has had a half-century run, producing few, if any, insights along the way. The time has come to hit the DELETE key."
computers  algorithms  cognition  neuroscience  brain  intelligence 
may 2016 by petej
John Lanchester reviews ‘The Second Machine Age’ by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and ‘Average Is Over’ by Tyler Cowen · LRB 5 March 2015
"It’s also worth noting what isn’t being said about this robotified future. The scenario we’re given – the one being made to feel inevitable – is of a hyper-capitalist dystopia. There’s capital, doing better than ever; the robots, doing all the work; and the great mass of humanity, doing not much, but having fun playing with its gadgets. (Though if there’s no work, there are going to be questions about who can afford to buy the gadgets.) There is a possible alternative, however, in which ownership and control of robots is disconnected from capital in its current form. The robots liberate most of humanity from work, and everybody benefits from the proceeds: we don’t have to work in factories or go down mines or clean toilets or drive long-distance lorries, but we can choreograph and weave and garden and tell stories and invent things and set about creating a new universe of wants. This would be the world of unlimited wants described by economics, but with a distinction between the wants satisfied by humans and the work done by our machines. It seems to me that the only way that world would work is with alternative forms of ownership. The reason, the only reason, for thinking this better world is possible is that the dystopian future of capitalism-plus-robots may prove just too grim to be politically viable. This alternative future would be the kind of world dreamed of by William Morris, full of humans engaged in meaningful and sanely remunerated labour. Except with added robots. It says a lot about the current moment that as we stand facing a future which might resemble either a hyper-capitalist dystopia or a socialist paradise, the second option doesn’t get a mention."
automation  work  labour  robots  jobs  economics  employment  computers  post-industrialism  innovation  technology  informationTechnology  productivity  capitalism  postFordism  determinism  deflation  communism  dctagged  dc:creator=LanchesterJohn  LRB 
march 2015 by petej
Theorising and analysing digital labour: From global value chains to modes of production | Fuchs | The Political Economy of Communication
"Corporate social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Weibo, Blogspot, LinkedIn etc.) all use a business model that is based on targeted advertising that turns users’ data (content, profiles, social networks and online behaviour) into a commodity. Commodities have producers who create them, otherwise they cannot exist. So, if the commodity of internet platforms is user data, then the process of creating this data must be considered to be value-generating labour. Consequently, this type of internet usage is productive consumption or prosumption in the sense that it creates value and a commodity that is sold. Dallas Smythe’s concept of the audience commodity has been revived and transformed into the concept of the internet prosumer commodity (Fuchs, 2012). Digital labour creates the internet prosumer commodity that is sold by internet platforms to advertising clients. They in return present targeted ads to users.

Digital labour on “social media” resembles housework because it has no wages, is mainly conducted during spare time, has no trade union representation, and is difficult to perceive as being labour. Like housework it involves the “externalization, or ex-territorialization of costs which otherwise would have to be covered by the capitalists” (Mies, 1986: 110). The term ‘crowdsourcing’ (Howe, 2009) expresses exactly an outsourcing process that helps capital to save on labour costs. Like housework, digital labour is “a source of unchecked, unlimited exploitation” (Mies, 1986: 16). Slaves are violently coerced with hands, whips, bullets—they are tortured, beaten or killed if they refuse to work. The violence exercised against them is primarily physical in nature. Houseworkers are also partly physically coerced in cases of domestic violence. In addition, they are coerced by feelings of love, commitment and responsibility that make them work for the family. The main coercion in patriarchal housework is conducted by affective feelings. In the case of the digital worker, coercion is mainly social in nature. Large platforms like Facebook have successfully monopolised the supply of certain services, such as online social networking, and have more than a billion users. This allows them to exercise a soft and almost invisible form of coercion through which users are chained to commercial platforms because all of their friends and important contacts are there and they do not want to lose these contacts. Consequently, they cannot simply leave these platforms."
digitalLabour  capitalism  computers  technology  minerals  Congo  manufacturing  China  software  development  India  callCentres  SiliconValley  socialMedia  work  labour  businessModels  advertising  dctagged  dc:creator=FuchsChristian 
september 2014 by petej
Enhanced security measures at certain airports overseas | Transportation Security Administration
"During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening."
TSA  air  airport  travel  USA  security  policing  warOnTerror  computers  batteries  mobilePhones 
july 2014 by petej
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